FACES - YWAM Singapore Issue.2018 - Page 16

A SAFE P L AC E n July 2017, YWAM Singapore welcomed 19 students from six nations to its Youth Workers’ DTS. The school was birthed out of a desire to serve local youth workers and pastors, who had responded to the challenge of discipling the next generation amidst the ever-changing values in the world today. Kenneth confessed to Titus, his sparring partner, that the game was his way of “escaping” from the issues he was dealing with. Titus then fi rmly responded, “Dude, if you are using me to run away from your pain, I’m not going to play with you anymore!” Love sometimes requires tough measures! Our community was enriched by the diverse backgrounds of our students—from a young, newly married Nepali couple living away from their country for the fi rst time, to an American missionary who has spent more than ten years in Japan, and a children’s pastor with more than 30 years of experience! At the same time, this incident drew a different response from another student, Jonathan. He was aware of how Kenneth would cope with his pain—at times being brash towards those around him or isolating himself. Although it was diffi cult to be on the receiving end of Kenneth’s reactions, Jonathan pressed in, “I will not give up on you. You will not be able to push me away!” Love is tenacious and relentless, not giving up hope for the one you care about. ‘Struggling Well’ Right from the get-go, the students dived into the heart of community life. They shared authentically about themselves— the good, bad and ugly, their joys and losses, their pain and brokenness. They knew that this was a safe place for them to be accepted for who they are. 14 Kenneth thus experienced the loving correction of one brother and the patient support of another to help him work through the issues he had diffi culty confronting. Although many of them were new to a live-in school environment, they quickly settled into the routine of classes, assignments, work duties (serving the base in practical ways like cleaning, cooking etc.), community gatherings, and very often, spontaneous get-togethers over dinners and games. It is not surprising that Kenneth now desires to facilitate a safe place for youths to receive healing from God when he returns to his post as a youth worker. He has seen how helpful it is when leaders can listen well, respond in love and kindness when issues surface, and are able to trust the person to process their thoughts and feelings. Our students discovered that key moments of discipleship could emerge from even the most ordinary of activities. For instance, it had become a regular affair in the YWAM house for the guys to pit their skills at table tennis before dinner. On one occasion, In the words of another student, Sheng Wei, DTS has allowed him to “struggle well” (as opposed to “struggle badly”) with his issues. He explains how it is not just the physical and mental